An engineer walked into his office one day and saw that his trash can was on fire. He called the fire department, explained the situation, and they explained how to use a fire extinguisher. He got the extinguisher and put it out with no problems.
The next day, our engineer walks into a friend's office and sees that his trash can is also on fire. The engineer tells his friend not to panic. He picks up the flaming trash can, runs it down the hall, up the stairs, through the conference room and back to his own office. The engineer puts the trash can down on the floor in the spot where his own trash can belongs, then gets the fire extinguisher and puts it out.
I heard this joke one day from my computer science professor. The point is that engineers don't like to solve new problems. Instead, they turn new problems into old problems that they already know how to solve. The reason I bring this up is that I was thinking about it yesterday in Sunday School. This year we are doing the Old Testament, which I think most people (other than Jews) are a bit afraid of.
Yesterday's lesson about the Exodus and the Passover turned into a lesson about the stories in the Book of Mormon where the Lord frees people from captivity. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Book of Mormon, and I feel like it's important that we learn about it. I love those stories, and the message about the Lord's power to free us from the bondage of sin is very clear and beautiful in those stories. But I also love the Old Testament, and this is the year we are supposed to be learning about it.
I feel like as a church, we are prone to converting unfamiliar material into the same old lesson over and over again. And that's sad. I mean, a lesson on the first 14 chapters of Exodus that mentions Moses's name fewer times than Alma's? That's just not right.
Am I just being too picky?